Peter Auger, Auburn Hills City Manager
Thoughts on running a city, daily musings, and everything in between.
City Manager, Auburn Hills, MI
Have you ever walked on a tightrope? You know, like under the big top at the circus type of tightrope. Me neither. I don’t think I am that coordinated or confident. I believe those are two of the three things you would need to walk on a rope, the third is balance.
It’s kind of funny that those three skills are what most need to get through life. Maybe it’s not physical coordination but the ability to coordinate activities and circumstances in one’s life. Confidence in what you do normally doesn’t come until you are successful at it and some people or organizations don’t venture out to far from their comfort zone, so they never achieve the confidence in what they do to take it to the next level. Balance in life, I think, might be the toughest and what I witness is what most folks and organizations struggle with.
It could be a balance between family and work. Maybe it is education and experience. Being smart and having wisdom, ah, the list could go on and on.
I think balance was one of the shining examples of brilliance from the greatest generation. No, not WWII generation, but the founding fathers who leaped where no one else had ever succeeded. Sure the Greeks tried parts, the Romans attempted some, you could say the French at certain times, but this diversified group was able to come together and argue, stumble, fail, argue some more, fail some more but finally stand up and say to the world that they wanted to control their own destiny.
In that process they had to compromise on timing and even what to argue about, but the one thing they agreed on was having checks and balances because in the end they studied history and human nature. Recently I have had some conversation with some folks in Washington D.C. and it seems like some people’s idea of balance is “everyone agree with me.”
As a non-political (e.g. not a democrat or republican) person running an organization, it often is like walking on a tight rope, attempting to refocus away from certain agendas onto to polices that work for organizations like ours and affect many residents and businesses.
Although sometimes it is challenging, I do believe it is important to stay involved and in touch. Because my mom only had 4 smart kids (I am the 5th), I sometimes ask questions when things seem to be out of balance or not make sense for my simple mind. This doesn’t always make me popular in certain circles, because sometimes experts have a hard time connecting the dots.
I know, it’s an electronic connected world where facts don’t seem to matter much, but I think facts may help me stay grounded.
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